I’ve only noticed Rachel Yamagata when I read from a Blender review of her Happenstance album way back 2004.
If she lacks [Fiona] Apple’s emotional complexity, her lovely and original debut finds the romance in despair. [Jun/Jul 2004, p.149]
It must have been pretty uncomfortable frequently being compared to Fiona Apple. It was undoubtedly due to her playing the piano and having a dark, smokey alto. The Virginia-born singer-songwriter has the kind of mysterious voice I can visualize as the image of a woman’s lower face with wispy hair and ruby red lips.
To people who haven’t seen how she looks like, listening to her will give you a somehow comparable picture. You can imagine replaying candid videos of you and your ex-girlfriend — the one that got away. She always makes it hard for you. The full and opulent quality of her voice gives you bits of Norah Jones, but with a more sincere and honest variety.
In her sophomore album, Elephants… Teeth Sinking Into Heart, Rachel Yamagata delves back into the walls of her heart with a solid look on the pains of heartache and making a move to realign life…
Read the MUSIC REVIEW inside.
The title track “Elephants” is an emotional attempt to rationalize a break-up (“If the tiger shall protect her young then tell me how did you slip by / All my instincts have failed me for once / I must have somehow slept the whole night”). “Sunday Afternoon” copies the same pattern but without the seemingly random lyrics.
“Sidedish Friend” is a slightly fast-tempo pop-sugar track that slaps you from all the drama, which lacked the presence of her beloved piano. I was kind of shocked listening to the track and was thinking that maybe I was listening to the wrong track.
The moodiness and drama abruptly disappears with the start of up-tempo pseudo-sugar pop of “Sidedish Friend.” I guess it was her method of making a paradox in her album.
“I didn’t set out to make a two part album. We just followed the songs’ lyrical lead,” Yamagata said on the press release, yet even she accepts the second half’s contrasting style, “[… Teeth Sinking Into Heart] is like rediscovering your backbone after you’ve gone through the loss.“
Few female vocalists could pull off such a modern style without sounding overbearing or appearing unladylike. Though the more rockier sound is quite new to my ears, it is nonetheless appealing. The fact that Rachel Yamagata handles herself with maturity and genuineness is what makes her unique in this generation’s brand of music.
Rachael Yamagata Official Website
Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart [Explicit]
Digital Music Album